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Friday Feedback for August 4, 2023

This is WHQR's "Friday Feedback," featuring listener questions and comments — and updates about your public media station.

Here's WHQR Station Manager Kevin Crane:

Kevin Crane: One of the reasons we value listener feedback so much is because we know that if one person sends us a question, many other people are probably wondering the same thing, just haven’t contacted us about it.

For example, this week Carol Hovey and David Stallings emailed us about our Classical schedule to ask, “what has happened to Sunday's MUSIC ON THE THIRD FLOOR? That's been a program I've so looked forward to each week! Missing it now, why?” Our Classical Music Director Pat Marriot responded “I miss The Third Floor too! Unfortunately, the producer Bill Cromwell decided to stop producing it a few months ago. We ran the rest of the program backlog and then, I must say regretfully, discontinued it. HOWEVER! Bill just told me that he's going to start producing it again with a new format. We'll give it a listen and see what happens. It has been a popular program and maybe we'll bring it back.”

Jean Collier asked about a problem we know many listeners are having lately, saying “I am experiencing horrible static when listening to 91.3FM. It is intermittent, sometimes clear but then it sounds like you are broadcasting underwater. It's very frustrating. Is this something you are aware of? Are there any plans to address this?”

We are aware, Jean, and there are a number of causes for this lately. First, we experienced a lightning strike on our antenna last month that has reduced our power output to 60% of normal, meaning listeners at the outer edges of our broadcast area may not get the strong signal they’re used to. Next is the work WECT and WWAY are doing on the tower we share with them. If you go to their websites, you’ll see that they are replacing their antenna that was damaged in Hurricane Florence. When the tower crew are working by the WHQR antenna, we keep them safe by reducing our power output to below 30%, further limiting our broadcast range. The weather we’ve had recently has not been conducive to working on the tower, so this project is taking longer than expected, but we’re told they are almost done.

As for our damaged antenna, that’s going to take us a while to replace, so we’ll be operating at 60% power for the next few months. We apologize for the inconvenience to our listeners on the edges of our broadcast area. I’d like to remind all our listeners, if you can’t receive us on your radio, our live streaming from the WHQR app and website is not affected by our broadcast antenna.

Susan Dillard was moved to write about last week’s Coastline program, saying “Darien and Alice Brooks are a gift to our community. Rachel’s interview with them sharing their life’s work with Autism is inspirational. Thank you Darien and Alice for sharing your story and thank you Rachel for a beautiful and informative interview.”

Thanks to everyone for your comments. We always love to hear from our listeners. We're on Facebook and Twitter, or write an email for Friday Feedback to feedback@whqr.org. We look forward to hearing from you.